Food Cost at Universal CityWalk Orlando Restaurants
Universal CityWalk is the place to be for dinner in Universal Orlando, but meals tend to cost at least $50 per person depending on what is ordered. CityWalk is located just outside of both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, so that means it is an easy walk from your last ride of the day when you start to get hungry for dinner.
Pro Tip: Due to high volumes of visitors it is best to reserve a spot at your favorite table-service restaurants in Universal Orlando because there can be long wait times if you arrive without a reservation!
Universal CityWalk includes a large variety of dining options that have influence from America, Italy, Mexico, and more. One place that my wife and I love to visit when we are at Universal is Vivo Italian Kitchen in CityWalk.
Image © Universal
An example of what a dinner for two might cost us would be:
- Starters: Black Truffle Burrata / Classic Caprese – $16 / $14
- Main Dishes: Parmigiano / Picatta – $29 / $25
- Drinks: Two Glasses of Wine – $12 / $12
- Dessert: Tiramisù / Stracciatella Semi Freddo – $10 / $9
This would definitely be a memorable meal, and it would cost us a total of $127 before tax and tip. Vivo is always a bit of a special occasion when we go, because we tend to look for more value meals throughout the park. But, whenever we are looking for something special, restaurants like Vivo are worth what you pay!
Prices of Drinks Throughout Universal Orlando
The prices of drinks in Universal tend to be fairly expensive as the resort has a captive audience. Soft drinks and Butterbeer make up a significant chunk of meal prices at Universal, so be sure to factor in those expenses when calculating your food costs.
Let’s dive into the prices of both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks throughout the resort and its restaurants.
I certainly need breaks in between rides, and one of the ways I like to take a breather is to pop into a quick service restaurant and grab a drink. I last visited the resort in late 2023 so I have some recent experience when it comes to buying these beverages, and here are a few prices of the drinks you might want to grab when you are in the parks:
- Self-serve soda – $4.75
- Bottle of Water – $5.00
- Powerade – $5.50
These prices can vary a dollar in either direction depending on where you purchase your drink, but generally drinks tend to be pretty expensive.
Pro-Tip: If you are just looking for water and don’t want to purchase a bottle, there are plenty of options to get free tap water throughout the parks, and all the restaurants offer free water with your meal.
Like the non-alcoholic drinks, there is a markup for alcoholic drinks throughout the parks. Occasionally when I need a break, I’ll let my kids go off and enjoy a ride with mom while I grab a quick beer. There are plenty of cool restaurants and stands where you can enjoy a drink, but you should certainly be prepared to pay for the experience. Here are a few examples of some drink prices you might get throughout the parks):
- Bottle of beer – $10.50
- Wine – $12
- Cocktails – $14.50
These prices can vary a bit depending on where you get your drink throughout the park and based on the particular item you purchase. It can continue to get more expensive if you are having a drink in a nice restaurant.
How Much is Butterbeer at Universal Orlando?
Butterbeer is a sweet, non-alcoholic concoction with a taste that Universal describes as “reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch.” You can find it in many forms around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, from refreshing drinks to tempting desserts!
You can enjoy a Butterbeer drink in several forms at Universal: cold (liquid like a soft drink), frozen (ice crystals like a slushie), and hot (steaming like coffee). All versions are topped with a tasty foam “head” (see allergy notes below).
- Cold Butterbeer: $8.49
- Frozen Butterbeer: $8.49
- Hot Butterbeer: $8.49
Butterbeer is typically served in a disposable cup, but you can spend a bit more for a heavy-duty souvenir mug. In late 2023, they even offered a special stainless steel holiday souvenir cup that cost nearly $37.99!
Cold and Frozen Butterbeer is generally allergy-friendly to those with gluten, soy, egg, wheat, and nut allergies — the standard topping does contain dairy, but a non-dairy version is also offered. Hot Butterbeer is not suitable for those with dairy allergies or who follow a vegan diet.
In addition to drinks, Butterbeer is also offered in dessert form:
- Butterbeer Ice Cream in a cup or waffle cone: $5.99 – $6.49 depending on type and location
- Butterbeer Ice Cream in a souvenir glass: $8.49
- Butterbeer Fudge: Varies
- Butterbeer Potted Cream: $6.49
Cost of Character Meals at Universal Orlando
Character meals at Universal Orlando cost an average of about $45-$55 for adults and $23-$33 for kids. At Universal, a character experience is when you get to have a meal at a restaurant as normal, but at the same time, some of your favorite characters will be walking around the restaurant interacting with guests as you eat. For example, there is a Marvel Character Dinner located in Cafe 4 in Islands of Adventure.
My kids love these interactive dining experiences at Universal Orlando. I’ll admit that for me, I get more fun watching the smiles on their faces rather than interacting with the characters myself, but it is a great way for a family to enjoy a meal and laugh at the same time. Last time we visited we tried the Marvel Character Dinner, so I will break down the experience and prices of what we got for you below.
In total, we paid about $175 for this meal as a family of four. The price for adults (10+) is $52.99 plus tax, and for kids younger than 10 they cost $29.99 plus tax. Don’t forget to factor in tips, too. While we were eating characters like Wolverine, Captain America, or Spider-Man came up and asked for high fives or photos. Our kids were smiling and laughing and it made the meal so special. The menu has a variety of salads, pizzas, chicken dishes, pasta, and great desserts to choose from. The dining options are certainly not the same as if you were at a signature restaurant, but they still taste great and have options for kids of all ages.
If you are looking for something special for breakfast or dinner I would absolutely recommend one of these meals, but in my experience, these events are best enjoyed by young kids!